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The 8 Korean Beauty Standards For Male & Female

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Last updated:

Korean beauty standards are very important in Korea. It’s the first thing you see when going to Korea. There are many different beauty standards, and studies have shown that appearance is the first thing people look at when they meet someone.

This is where the beauty standards play a huge role, it probably sounds unreal, but if you fit more into the beauty standards, you’ll have a higher chance of getting a job. It also applies to idols, and in the Kpop industry, it’s even worse. 

If you ever have the opportunity to visit Korea, make sure to look around in the big cities. You’ll see that there are thousands of ads hanging around and showcasing the impossible beauty standards. This is especially big in Seoul and other modern cities.

The number of beauty standards is endless, so we’ve created a list of the 8 best Korean beauty standards that are relevant today. 

1. Plastic Surgery

Plastic Surgery

The plastic surgery market is huge in Korea, and many people spend thousands a month keeping up with the latest trends. In the USA and Europe, it’s not as bad, and you won’t see many people with plastic surgery. However, in Korea, this is completely normal, and people don’t really care if you have done anything to your face.

If you listen to Kpop, you can see that many idols have done plastic surgery or want to do this. It’s because the idols have a certain visual the company expects. Idols have to look very handsome and appeal to their younger fans.

It has happened many times that idols were advised to do plastic surgery. These days it’s not a big deal anymore for idols to get plastic surgery since everyone is doing it already. However, it’s still not a normal thing for idols that are still in their 20’s to get plastic surgery.

Maybe in the future, they never wanted plastic surgery, and there’s no going back. This doesn’t happen often, but you never know since the idols are still pretty young. Not all companies do this, but a small group of them only want to debut idols that fit into the Korean beauty standards.

2. Having Smooth Skin

Having Smooth Skin

Having smooth skin plays a huge role in beauty standards. Many people want to have smooth skin because it looks more attractive. Some people are even called out because they have bad skin and don’t want to take care of it.

Achieving smooth skin isn’t something easy. It takes a lot of time and won’t happen overnight. This is what most people think that smooth skin is easily achievable, but it takes a long time before seeing any results.

This was what I struggled with, and my skin didn’t get any better until months later. So, if you want to have smooth skin make sure to take care of your skin and eat healthily. What really changed it for me was that I started exercising and changing my diet.

Start to eat more vegetables and snack less this will improve your skin significantly, and it could results in smooth skin way faster. There have been times where fans would call out Kpop idols for their acne, which is very bad, and it shouldn’t be done because it can really hurt the idol’s confidence.

3. Double Eyelids

Double Eyelids

Double eyelids are something that you only see in Asian countries, and it’s never a huge deal in the USA or Europe because of the different beauty standards. However, in Korea, it’s huge to have double eyelids. It makes your eyes look bigger, which makes you fit more into the beauty standard.

There are many ways to achieve double eyelids. One of them is by doing plastic surgery, and the other option is to use eyelid glue. Eyelid glue is very popular in Korea since it doesn’t require any surgery, and it’s affordable for everyone.

I’ve been using these for the last couple of months now, and it has been of the best choices I’ve made. It’s very easy to use, and you can buy them almost everywhere, you’re eyes will look way bigger and especially if you have monolid eyes it’s going to be a huge change.

You can see that a lot of people have double eyelids in Korea, even teenagers that are just graduating get double eyelid surgery as a graduation gift. This is never heard of in the USA or any other Western country.

So, if you ever want to get double eyelids yourself, make sure to use some eyelid glue first and see how that works. If you have the budget, you could also do eyelid surgery, but that’s not what I recommend since there’s always a possibility of it going wrong.

4. Symmetric Face

Symmetric Face

Having a symmetric face in Korea makes you fit into the beauty standards even more. It might sound weird, but it really does. When you’re going to a surgeon and ask what’s the most popular face shape, they’re going to say a symmetric face.

Doing these kinds of surgeries can be extremely expensive, so it’s recommended at all. This is also one of the reasons why the beauty industry in Korea is huge, and people spend thousands a month just on their appearance.

Many idols that have symmetric faces are praised for that, but it’s mostly genetics that plays a role in this. You can’t get a symmetric face without any surgery if you aren’t born with it. So, if you’re worried about your own face and why it’s not symmetric, there’s nothing to worry about.

Only a small percentage of the people have a perfectly symmetric face. You should be happy with your own face and be confident.

5. Jawline


Having a sharp jawline is also very important because it makes your face look slimmer. Many idols have jawlines, but this isn’t because of surgery. It’s often because of the extreme dieting that they follow.

If you start dieting and lose a lot of weight while also keeping the fat percentage low. The jawline will be more visible. Other things that make the jawline sharper could be facial products. There are many of them, and it has become extremely popular all over Asia.

Those kinds of rollers that you’re using on your face. If you look at the average Korean on the streets, they don’t have extremely sharp jawlines, but that’s what many young people want, Especially teens that are looking up to the Kpop idols.

You could try to get a jawline yourself since there are many exercises to do. If it actually works, we don’t know since we’ve never tried it ourselves, but it may be worthing trying.

6. Nose Job

Nose Job

Getting nose jobs is also very popular in Korea, and many people have done this. These kinds of surgeries are getting normalized because more and more people start doing them. You can see that almost all famous people that are advertising on display boards have done some kind of surgery.

There are a few idols that are natural beauties. Similar surgeries like a v line are also very popular. It makes a face slimmer and also helps to make the jawline more visible.

Nose jobs can be very expensive, and you don’t want to get it done wrong. So, many people go to professionals, and the downside is that it takes a pretty long time to heal. Is it worth it? That’s a question that many people ask.

Well, it really depends on your own preference. In my opinion, a nose job isn’t worth it since everyone is beautiful in their own way, but if you really want to do it, you should do it.

7. Big Eyes

Big Eyes

Big eyes are something that you’re either born with, or you don’t. It’s not like getting surgery for bigger eyes can work. However, getting double eyelid surgery might make your eyes look bigger, but it won’t make them bigger.

This is where many idols use makeup to make their eyes look bigger. Makeup is very easy and affordable for all idols, and with the help from their stylists, it will make a huge improvement. The idols look better when performing, and these kinds of beauty standards are achievable.

Unlike having a symmetric face. So, this is one of the few standards that many people can achieve. Another plus is that almost everyone uses makeup worldwide. If you’re looking for some tips to get bigger eyes with makeup, I recommend watching some YouTube tutorials.

There are many good ones, and I’ve tried some myself. They are very easy to follow and work really well. Eventually, you’ll get used to it and won’t take a long time to get it done.

8. Pale Skin

Pale Skin

Pale skin is something that a lot of people want, and there are many products for that. However, is it really necessary to get pale skin well for most people it is because they want to fit into the Korean beauty standards.

There are many different products on the market like skin whitening and SPF’s. Those are just two examples of products that almost everyone uses. Skin whitening is not only big in Korea but in many other Asian countries as well.

Korean beauty standards are quite similar to other Asian countries. However, there’s, of course, Korean culture difference, and that will always be like that. Sometimes people are judged by their dark skin tone, which shouldn’t be an issue.

Idols have been called out on this for no reason, which makes me really angry. There’s no reason to judge someone with a darker skin tone, especially if they’re born with that. That’s literally being mean to someone without a valid reason.


Why Does Korea Have Such Impossible Beauty Standards?

Korea has these impossible beauty standards because it keeps getting promoted. The whole entertainment industry strives for this, and people seem to like it. That’s one of the reasons, but these beauty standards are impossible to achieve for the normal person.

You’re either born with it, or you have to do some kind of plastic surgery, which many people don’t have the budget for. The standards are way too hard to achieve and should be changed as soon as possible.

Are Korean Beauty Standards Achievable?

No, it’s impossible to get these kinds of beauty standards. Only a small percentage that’s pretty much born perfect can fit into these beauty standards. However, it seems like Koreans really like these standards and will continue to follow these trends.

If you’re looking at idols, most of them have some kind of these beauty standards. Many people look up to idols or want to become idols themselves, and that’s when it continues the cycle, so it basically keeps going.

Why Is Beauty So Important In Korea?

Beauty is important in Korea because many people want to look attractive. If you look attractive, you get more attention, and many studies have shown that attention is something humans seek for. They strive off attention and want more of it.

So, if you look attractive and fit into the beauty standard of Korea, you appeal more to the public. Beauty plays a huge role in this, but the majority of the citizens have their preferences similar to the Korean beauty standard.

Should You Aim For The Korean Beauty Standards?

No, there’s no possibility that you can get the perfect face. Surgery might be one of the options, but it’s not worth the risk and money. These days surgeries are becoming more and more expensive, so there’s no reason for you to do that.

Unless you really want to change your face shape. It’s not necessary at all. A few months of exercising and healthy dieting will do the job for most people.

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve come to the end of this article, you can probably tell that the standards are impossible to achieve. These standards are both for males and females. If you want to fit into this kind of standard, make sure to start dieting and see how you’re face is going to change.

It will probably look a lot slimmer and start healthy dieting, these two activities will improve your life a lot, so there’s no need to worry about fitting into the Korean beauty standards.

Everyone should be happy with themselves and shouldn’t change for someone else. If everyone had that kind of mindset, it would be really bad. So, be happy with yourself and don’t follow beauty standards that are impossible to achieve.

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    About The Author

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    Jason Park

    Jason has been living in Seoul for over 4 years, and during that time, he has experienced many of the city's hidden stores. He loves to write about his experiences and share them with others. Jason has been quoted and referenced by different major media companies like Mashed, Distractify, ThePrint and TastingTable. In his free time, he likes to watch Korean dramas and learn more about Korean culture.

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